Though women have made huge strides in the past few decades and have moved the glass ceiling higher and higher, they are still underrepresented in the top echelon of corporate organization charts and in management positions. This is a huge loss for organizations and the people in them because, in many ways, moms make the best bosses.
Moms are the ultimate project managers
Multiple deadlines, conflicting stakeholder interests, budgets, and balancing the personal and professional needs of others is often done before she even gets into the office. In fact, project managing a family can be more difficult than project managing your toughest clients and campaigns.
Certified to withstand the pressure
I once interviewed someone and asked her, “How do you deal with stress days and unreasonable demands?” and her answer to me was “I’m a mom, that’s my every day!” From one mom to another, it was the perfect response. Living with children, toddlers especially, prepares you for working with tyrants who have no respect for your limitations.
She’ll equip you for success
You are more likely to succeed at something if you’re prepared. Mom bosses know this. It won’t be as straightforward and packing a sandwich or making sure you get a nap, but she’ll be your advocate to make sure you’re ready to do a good job by making you practice your pitches and think strategically about your career objectives.
She will help you when you need it
Moms know when someone is struggling, and most are compassionate enough to step in and remedy the situation. Helping to share the load, reprioritize tasks or just to take a step back and focus on the key goals are some ways moms are great at making huge things seem not so huge. You may remember your mom doing this for you on your first day of school, when you had a dance recital, or when you were completely swamped with a school project.
She thinks about group dynamics
“It’s not fair!” doesn’t get you much at home and it doesn’t work in the office, either. However, if you have a boss who is a parent, they’ve likely put a more thought into how re-orgs, new hires, promotions, and bonuses will impact overall group dynamics. That’s not to say you’ll always feel like things are fair but they’re more likely to have some sort of standardization.
She’ll make you work out your differences & work together
Passive aggressive comments, bullying, mean girling and petty quarreling can derail your organization and make coming to work a nightmare for all involved. If you have a boss who has dealt with these things in the playground, you’ll see the same strategies introduced to solve them in the office and they work.
She can set the tone and keep it together
Dealing with supermarket meltdowns from toddlers and the questionable choices of teenagers has left her with a level of composure that is only achieved by being pushed to the edge. When emotions at the office run high, having an experienced mom be your moderator and captain can bring the focus back to the goal.
She knows that the best lesson is experience, and that includes making mistakes
Some of life’s best lessons are learned in the school of hard knocks. Being a mom, she’s likely earned a PhD from this esteemed institution. This equips her with the knowledge to help you out but the wisdom to know that you’re going to have to learn how to do it on your own.
She will challenge you to do better
Just as your mom will tell you that you are perfectly capable of putting your socks in the laundry hamper, your boss will tell you that you are perfectly capable of finding a document and formatting your margins. She does not have the time to deal with laziness and her not putting up with your crap will make you better at your job.
She’s proud of your success
Your mom was proud of you when you graduated, and your mom boss will be proud of you when you move on to bigger and better things. There may be some tears but if you’re soaring to new heights, she’ll understand.
Here’s to the moms working double shifts managing those of us who still can’t seem to get our laundry in the bins or our documents spell checked!
While moms often make the best bosses, sometimes they don’t want to be them and that’s OK. It’s OK to reach for the top, or not, regardless of your gender or parental status. What’s really important is that those who want to work their way up and who would be fantastic in leadership positions have the opportunities to do so, regardless of their gender or parental status.